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A press conference was held at Spann Elementary recently to announce the Barbara Bush Foundation Teen Trendsetter literacy program. The current program, launched in the fall of 2015, involves ten Jackson public high schools paired with ten Jackson public elementary schools along with one pilot program – the first of its kind in the nation – that combines the private school sector with the public school sector, specifically Jackson Academy with Spann Elementary.

The press conference highlighted National Literacy Month and lauded the success of the overall program with special recognition given to Spann and its mentors, Murrah High School and Jackson Academy.

Its tie to Fondren is a royal one.

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A Fondrenite quietly working behind the scenes this past year has officially come into the fold as the newest member of the Fondren Renaissance Foundation staff.

Jackson native Angie Noble has accepted the title of Special Projects Director for the non-profit, a role she has served in part-time since the late Mary Jo McAnally, FRF’s associate director, took ill in late 2014.

Noble is a Belhaven University graduate who later went on to become a paralegal. After marrying in 1996 and moving back to Jackson prior to the birth of her first child in 1998, she says the years she spent as a stay-at-home mom ultimately lead to where she is today.

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Wilkirson (center) at a recent luncheon for the Phoenix Initiative

Once a stagnant neighborhood without direction, unhealthy Fondren has blossomed into a vital and thriving model for development in the capital city.

Without a doubt, pharmacy the Fondren we know now would not be the neighborhood it is today without the hard work and dedication of Fondren Renaissance Foundation. FRF Executive Director Jim Wilkirson explains the role the non-profit organization plays in building a vibrant community.

What does Fondren Renaissance Foundation do anyway?

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The Lowery Family Farm is part of The Resting Place, a special events venue in Flora.

We are excited to announce a special “pop-up” for the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Lowery Family Farm of Flora will offer fresh-cut Fraser Fir trees the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. The temporary lot will be set up in the Rankin Interiors parking lot at 3111 North State Street.

While we were hoping to get this as part of Fondren Unwrapped, it was early – by a week – for the Christmas tree season. After talking with Judith Lowery, we decided on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The lot will offer fifty trees on Friday, November 27 from 10am to 6pm and and Saturday, November 28 from 9am to 5pm. Hopefully, this will be an annual event and extend throughout the Christmas season next year.

Tree sizes range from five to six feet to seven to eight feet, with prices ranging from $55 to $70. The Lowerys will offer bundling and tree loading as part of their services. And, if you don’t see a tree that meets your need, you can always special order from their Flora farm.

Judith Lowery loves Fondren and was excited we contacted her to bring the trees to the neighborhood. We’re hoping to create another reason to get out and shop in Fondren, to stay here and support local.



Surrounded by her loving family, mind Mary Jo McAnally died at home November 3, 2015, in Jackson, MS.

Mary Jo was born on July 20,1941, in Blytheville, Arkansas, to Lucille and Herman Oden. Upon graduation from high school, she chose to attend the University of Mississippi where her bigger-than-life personality soon charmed all those who knew her. At Ole Miss, Mary Jo sparkled as a feature twirler in the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and as a member of Tau Beta Sigma. She pledged Tri Delta sorority, bringing honor to that group as she was selected Campus Cutie, Campus Favorite, runner up to Miss University, and Miss Blytheville.

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We’ve never kicked off the holidays exactly like this before.

On November 19 from 5-8pm, BankPlus will present Fondren Unwrapped, the neighborhood’s annual holiday open house. But with an expansive list of themed activities surrounding the night, Unwrapped may never be the same again.

“It truly is about our merchants and restaurants inviting folks in to shop and dine,” says FRF Executive Director Jim Wilkirson. “But we wanted to add a few things to entice people to come out and enjoy the neighborhood even more.”

A few? Where to start….

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holidayart15-webAnnouncing the final installment of the 2015 Four Seasons of The Cedars Visual and Performing Arts Series at The Cedars.

“Works on Paper” will feature the art of Jean Seymour, visit this site Richard Stowe and Chloe Brown, ampoule with pottery by Andrew McIntyre.

A portion of all proceeds from sales of artists’ works goes to the continuing maintenance and restoration efforts of The Cedars, Jackson’s oldest residential home, circa 1840, celebrating 175 years in 2015.

The Cedars is located at 4145 Old Canton Road and parking is conveniently available across the street at St. Andrew’s Lower School (a security crossing guard is available during opening receptions).

Opening receptions are free of charge and open to the public. This show will hang through November 25. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10am until 4pm.

For more information, call Kay Holloway at 601.366.5552.

A special event spearheaded by the Fondren Association of Businesses Committee of Fondren Renaissance Foundation


Developers Jason Watkins (lefty) and Roy Decker update residents on hoped-for plans for Eubanks Creek. Photo: Find It In Fondren™

Special to Fondren Renaissance (Find It In Fondren™)

Here’s what we know about efforts to bring some relief to the ever overflowing Eubanks Creek behind the former McRae’s building after a well-attended public meeting last night in Fondren, sponsored by Fondren Renaissance.

• While new tenant Venyu Solutions helped to initiate the mitigation process, it’s the City of Jackson that will take the project forward.

Dr. Charles Williams, the city’s Engineering Manager, was praised by developers Roy Decker and Jason Watkins for helping place the Eubanks Creek flooding issues to the forefront of spending priorities for 2016’s funding plans using the the recently voted in 1% sales tax increase.

The next steps? A design consultant will be selected by January 1, 2016 to conduct a “true survey” to come up with the best options. Plans for two future town halls were announced, giving residents a voice in the final work to be completed.

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meeting2With many questions surrounding the status of flood mitigation and drainage issues of Eubanks Creek, developers Jason Watkins and Roy Decker will host an information session to provide answers and a timeline for work to be completed.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 6 at 5:30pm at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in the church sanctuary.

Hydrologist Bill Colson will be in attendance to answer questions with information specific to your street and your home. Watkins says it’s a good opportunity for people really effected by the floodplain to see if they will still be in it.

A brief overview of the Venyu and UMMC Telehealth project will also be provided.

Enter from Duling Avenue. This is a public meeting, presented in part by Fondren Renaissance Foundation.

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